Miisa Mink is the founder and chief doer at DrivenWoman – a fast growing women’s empowerment platform where women support and keep one another accountable to their bigger life goals, and the creator of Festival Of Doers, an amazing day celebrating women who step outside their comfort zone to live the life they truly want. She won the We Are The City/ Sunday Times ‘Rising Stars’ award in Diversity category in 2017.
After successful career in international branding and design, DrivenWoman was born as a result of her inner need to redefine her values and beliefs when the traditional success formula no longer resonated. DrivenWoman is now a fast growing ‘ecosystem’, helping thousands of women embrace success in broader terms; living fulfilling, balanced life whilst following a work path with a deeper meaning.
Since founding DrivenWoman in 2013 I have spent endless hours listening to the stories of thousands of women all around the world. I have run over 300 events and met women from all backgrounds. What I have discovered is perhaps no surprise to you: women lacking self confidence to follow their dreams and embark on ambitious careers. There are of course many structural obstacles women still face that makes their journey hard. We are over 200 years from gender equality. My mission, however, is to unlock the invisible internal barriers for success.
I was born in Finland to an ordinary middle class family and grew up in a small unremarkable town just outside the capital city, Helsinki. My father worked and like all good mothers in the 70s, my mum stayed at home and didn’t follow her dreams. This of course, had been the fate of her mother and grandmother, forming a good base for a ‘mother wound’ to develop, an opportunity I haven’t missed to use for my personal growth and inspiration in my work. Releasing the generations of blocked creativity and frustration has allowed me to do the deeply meaningful and impactful work I do now.
Many women carry the invisible barrier of generational shame: our inability to believe that our brilliance is worthy of sharing with the world. What we stand for and how we want to embrace our lives and careers have incredible value. So many women (and men) fail to see the value in the feminine to the detriment of their personal creativity and that of the companies they work for.
After finishing my MSc degree in Economics and International Business I thought success was a fancy title, a big car and walking around corporate corridors in an expensive suit and high heels. I imagined feminine power to be a female version of the masculine – the power woman – and for a while I embodied it well.
My career choices have always taken me to many great adventures. I’ve lived in Poland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. I have travelled around the world and thrown myself into the deep waters gaining experience from LA to Hong Kong.
15 years ago I founded a wildly successful branding agency for a global advertising network, making it the fastest growing and the most profitable internal agency launch in the network’s history. I was very proud my success – pushing for innovative design solutions, bold branding and training up young talent. We won almost every client there was to win in Finland and soon I found myself opening offices across Europe; from Moscow to Brussels and Istanbul.
But new winds were blowing and after giving birth to very energetic twin boys it was time for new adventures. I have been involved in many start-ups both as an advisor and an investor. I’ve written two books, led a Scandinavian style coffee shop chain in Central London, launched an online jewellery tech start-up and pushed myself outside my comfort zone so many times that it makes me dizzy.
I’ve had successes but most importantly, I have failed. Every set back has taught me much more than any business book or an online course ever will.
Yet everything in my path has simply prepared me for that one special day when I founded DrivenWoman, an empowerment platform where women can find their inner ‘drive’ and start leading authentic and fulfilling lives building meaningful careers. It’s definitely not about achieving your to-do list or being busy, an epidemic way too widely spread these days.
When we find our drive we let go of expectations of others, create healthy boundaries and start doing everything from our own brilliance, that glowing wisdom that leads you to your purpose. When we become ‘doers’ we let go of fear of failure because our dreams and goals are much more important than worrying about the obstacles we might face along the journey or what the society or people around us might expect of us. And oh dear, aren’t there so many expectations placed on us women!
I have created a scalable framework that allows any woman to come in, feel safe and supported and join the journey. I’m proud that many companies are also now embracing our concept and we work with companies such as L’Oreal Paris, PA consulting and others. My work has been featured in numerous media such as CNN Money, Huffington Post and Forbes, and I have had the honour to be a speaker at events such as The Best You Expo and Women In Business Expo.
What is remarkable about my journey is not what I have done, but how thousands of women have showed up and how they are inspiring and empowering each other. Every struggle that has been shared within DrivenWoman has encouraged another woman to step outside her comfort zone.
I’m incredibly grateful for every story shared and every brave step taken. The courage of these women inspires me every day. DrivenWoman is not about the wisdom I can bring to them, it’s about the collective wisdom found within the sisterhood.
Women who come together to support each other are unstoppable!